After twenty years Shimla's date with 'Domeshwar devta' at historic Ridge
Shimla: Twenty years is not a long time for the events to unfold but for hundreds of devotees and followers, the wait for one of their highly respected 'Domeshwar devta' was perhaps worth rejoicing in the town on Sunday, despite rains and wintry cold.
Shimla's historic Ridge showcased some of the rare glimpses of rich deity culture prevalent in the hills on graceful arrival of the palanquin of Domeshwar devta in the heart of town.
Also known as Domeshwar Maharaj of Guthan, near Theog in Shimla district, the devta was said to be on move for past two years covering a bare-footed journey of Shimla and Solan districts.
As the crowd thronged at the Ridge to get a close view of devta, traditional music and dance (Choltu) performed by teams of young followers — all males, dressed in perfect snow-white robes and bearing saffron turbans, changed the whole atmosphere to celebrations and religious exuberance.
Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice L. Narayana Swamy, half a dozen Judges, Shimla's Mayor Satya Koundal, Education minister Suresh Bhardwaj and former Mayor Sanjay Chauhan were among hundreds of people witnessing the event in complete devotion.
"I am very happy at successful hosting of my visit. I bless you all wish all well," were the prophetic words of devta's oracle at end of the rituals, performed in full public view through dances and worships.
Madan Lal Verma, chief organiser of the event, said,
"Devta is a highly institution of deity culture in the hills of Shimla. It's charismatic image, adornments and religious appeal, binds the followers to some of the toughest rituals like travelling bare-footed under the open sky and adhering to pre-decided routes and places. The dances are performed by trained and specially attired followers as part of aarti (workship)".
The devta will have two-day halt in the town and will bless its followers, visitors and public and then leaves for the next destination. There will be a mega event at Guthan when devta reaches back its seat. Invitations will be extended of all the people, wherever devta had visited.
Earlier, the devta had 'visited' Shimla in 1999, says Tulsi Raman, a noted literary figure and anardent follower.